Live From The Woods
Atlantic Records, Word Records
April 14, 2015
My music consumption has increased over the past few months due to the amount of headphone reviews I’ve been doing over on Techaeris. Earlier today I published my review of David Gilmour’s latest, Rattle That Lock, but Gilmour isn’t the only artist that has had me captivated over the past few weeks. I’ve also been heavily spinning Needtobreathe’s Live From The Woods album and these are my thoughts on it.
I discovered Needtobreathe about 4 years ago (sometime in 2011) when someone was playing “Something Beautiful” off of their 2009 The Outsiders album. The sound of that song drew me in and I set out to discover them a bit more. Thankfully over the past few years we have these little services that stream music, and it is how I exclusively consume my music now (Tidal). Back in 2011 I took to YouTube to find more Needtobreathe to listen to and what I discovered blew me away.
While “Something Beautiful” was an amazing song what I found was it wasn’t their best, not even by a long shot. I was shocked to find that people in my circles were drooling over the song but ignoring even better efforts like “The Outsiders”, “Girl Named Tennessee”, “Lay ‘Em Down” and “Hurricane”. It’s a rare thing indeed for full albums to capture my interest but The Outsiders did just that, every song on that album was a must play for me.
Needtobreathe was a band I had to find out more about so I dug deeper and found their albums Daylight and The Heat and found both these albums equally mind blowing. Their follow-up to The Outsiders, The Reckoning, proved to be yet another collection of must listen to music and every one of these albums gets full play and love on my streaming list. 2014 brought Rivers In The Wasteland front and center, yet again another collection of awesome songs.
Live From The Woods was recorded in front of 5000 fans at the Fontanel Woods Amphitheater in Nashville, having never been I had to check it out on the Interwebs and it looks spectacular. The band performed many songs from their old albums and some from their new in what has been referred to as a “bonfire” concert. The setting was so intimate that singer Bear Rinehart III felt compelled a few times to open up about the band and their success and challenges.
Live From The Woods is a powerhouse live album and for me it showcases what Needtobreathe does best, play their music live. The South Carolina band really shines their Blues/Bluegrass/Country/Pop blend on this album and the sound quality is such that you feel you’re there. I still haven’t been to a Needtobreathe concert, but after spinning Live From The Woods I am compelled to try and get to one. Needtobreathe is the type of band that only comes around once in a great while, musically gifted in every way and able to entertain their fans. This album is a must have if you like that Southern Rock, Blues/Pop with a little Country/Bluegrass thrown in for good measure.
I highly recommend this album although I will say that some of Bear’s spoken word could have been omitted from the album. While I love the backstory and the openness he displayed, as an album listener I just wanted the music. Still, a solid album from a solid band!